Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sober

If I could choose one word to describe the general tone here, it would sober. It's not like the challenges outlined are any epiphany, but when you hear speaker after speaker articulate tremendous challenges, it congeals into an uncertain future.

I think Ignatieff was right when he framed this weekend as a challenge to see if a modern political party can respond effectively. Within this theme, one does have to wonder if Canadian voters are prepared to face some of these challenges, because many of the remedies aren't popular and/or palatable in a political sense. As David Dodge just pointed out, we are currently in a state where politicos are telling voters they can "have their cake and eat it too". The question then becomes- do the Liberals have the stomach to present unpleasant realities, because the risks are obvious?

Answers will be for another time, and past history suggests watered down remedies, as strategic considerations warp sound response. The inherent problem with "bold", you risk making yourself a target, particularly when your chief opponent is quite content to live in the world Dodge outlined. I'm not sure Canadians can "handle the truth"- it's simply human nature to gravitate to a vision that brings the least resistance, gloom and doom, accompanied by costs simply doesn't sell.

I appreciate the hesitations, but I firmly believe that the Liberals must distinguish themselves, or our chances are remote at best. If you accept the premise that the odds are long, then it allows for a more risk taking. Not reckless policy, but a consideration that maybe frank talk and sober solutions could resonate. It could all boil down to who has the most realistic vision, with the porviso that should we make the tough choices now, better days do lie ahead.

Timidity almost guarantees defeat, and while "straight talk" is full of landmines, at least the vision presented is honest and true, which no matter the outcome is helpful to the Liberal Party as it redefines itself.

25 comments:

Omar said...

Sobriety needs to take a backseat at this particular junction in our political history. The stakes are extremely high and the soul of our nation is what is in play. I believe reason over passion needs to be flipped on its head for a spell. Go hard and let the chips fall where they may.

CK said...

ya know, this kind of reminds me of a Rachel Maddow interview with Michael Moore when they were talking about how even though many of the Democrats really believe they're going to lose come November, that that should free them up to try something. As Moore put it; you can just sink or take a dixie cup and start bailing.

I think this advice would be applicable to the Liberals.

Obama is paying a price for trying to pander to the Fox News Crowd and GOP, that he forgot the Conservatives in his own party.

Same thing happened to Iggy in last vote regarding abortion; so busy debating Steve, that he forgot about his pro-lifer MPs.

Also, I think Iggy and Liberals are gun shy since Iggy attempted to drop the gauntlet last Fall. Harpercon media started feeding into whiny apathetic Canadians that big bad Iggy was going to make them get off their duff to go to the Polls.

Folks bitch about the opposition (mainly liberals) not being strong enough, yet when they do get oppositional, they get lambasted for it. Then they retreat until the next crisis. They're going to have to develop a thick skin when it comes the Harpercon media

Here's to hoping for some luck coming out of this.

Gayle said...

We already have a political party who runs on platforms that hurt the country while they help the party. If the LPC do the same then it really does not matter which party is in government.

Tomm said...

Omar,

Your post represents what many conservatives feel Harper is trying to do right now.

Of course he can only do half measures, because he has to pander as a minority office holder.

Tomm said...

Gayle,

The present government's platform is not helping the CPC party.

What makes you think that a $50B deficit is what the CPC party wants?

Gene Rayburn said...

Tomm's putting in the apologist overtime this weekend.

Tomm said...

Hi Gene!

Nero Wolfe said...

Tomm,

Thanks again for your useless drivel.

It's all the fault of the liberals.

Why what brilliant reasoning and analytical skills you have.

What was your point.

Steve can't do anything because of the liberals.

Steve is running a hugh deficit, because of the liberals.

Wow, point taken

Any more thoughts to enlighten and delight with?

CK said...

Gayle: We already have a political party who runs on platforms that hurt the country while they help the party. If the LPC do the same then it really does not matter which party is in government.

12:07 PM, March 27, 2010

Harpercon evangelicals and Steve way more frightening.

If I have to explain difference between Harpercons when they get a majority and the liberal party...

Harpercon and Stevie Evangelical Fundy Christians sub-culture. SAme as Sarah Palin, Mike HuckaPee, the late Jim and tammy-faye Baker, Kirk Cameron.

Gayle do you really want to flirt with a Harpercon majority? Is that a chance you want to take? Leaders just like the above who believe that earth is 6000 years old and dinosaurs co-existed with humans. Can you tell me that even those rogue Catholic Liberal MPs are that bad?

Tomm said...

Nero,

You are pulling words out of my mouth I didn't say. What is THAT all about?

My "point" was that I may have posted the exact same words that Omar posted. Yet we are miles apart politically. You don't hink that is meaningful?

It seems to me that regardless of political preference, many people seem to think that we have to make big decisions about the big issues of our time. And the time to make those decisions is NOW. A minority government cannot make those decisions because of the overwelmingly political climate that swirls around it.

We probably both strongly feel that 4 years without middle of the road compromises and a highly charged political atmosphere would be really valuable right now.

Some advice, cut down on the caffiene.

Tomm said...

CK,

Great stuff. Really, great stuff.

"...Harpercon...Stevie...Evangelical...Fundy...HuckaPee...dinosaurs co-existed with humans..."

Name calling, so Montreal. So now you've convinced me that you've got the maturity of a U of Ottawa student/Provost. What's next? Do you juggle?

I know, call me names too!

ottlib said...

It's all a matter of timing.

Have this "adult" conversation now and the Liberals get creamed.

Stephen Harper wins, probably a majority, all of the solutions to these problems are put off as we watch Stephen Harper at his ideological best.

Or wait until Canadians are finally tired of the Conservatives and then have that conversation. Many of the great programs and policies that we have seen in that past half century or so came about at times like that.

Although the hyper-partisanship we are currently seeing is new partisanship has been around forever and Canadian PMs, both Conservative and Liberal, have managed to do what is "right" for the country despite it. So doing what is right and what is politically expedient is not necessarily mutually exclusive.

It all depends on how politically astute is the politician.

Stephen Harper has demonstrated that he does not have the political skill to advance his political agenda and hang on to power at the same time.

We will have to see if Mr. Ignatieff is any different.

Omar said...

I don't think that is name calling, Tomm, I think that is pointing out truths. How exactly do YOU feel about the evangelical element surrounding the Harper government? Are you OK with it? Many others, me included, most certainly are not.

Gayle said...

"The present government's platform is not helping the CPC party."

So I guess we will see them raise that GST soon then, right?

"Harpercon evangelicals and Steve way more frightening."

First - I have no fear of a Harper majority. I really don't. But even if he were to get one, I am not sure I think he is going to be overly socially conservative. The reason we had the Reform party in the first place is because the right wing cannot hold onto power by catering to the socons. Do you think Harper only wants one term as a majority government, because that is what would happen if he leans too far to the right. And if that happens he will simply pave the way for another 13 year liberal majority.

The liberals are never going to win an election by being Conservative-lite.

Jerry Prager said...

Boldness has several advantages: Canadians like boldness when it comes as insight based on best practices and profound understanding,
the party has this archive of intelligent discourse as a source they can send anyone to who wants to get a sense of the scope of the problem and the origins of the solutions: the party has a very powerful web tool for keeping these kinds of discussions ongoing, the Party also has a powerful message in citizen culture versus consumer culture.
Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone, dare to have a message firm, dare to make it know.
Liberal Party, into the lens den or oblivion.

Gene Rayburn said...

Hey Tomm,

Having a good weekend I presume. :)

Tomm said...

Omar,

You want to know what I think about evangelical elements around the CPC...

Well. I've been around all brands of people, they all have their positives and negatives. People should live their morality but leave their dogma at the door. The biggest thing seems to be ensuring you are surrounded by people that realize it is "us" that has to get the job done. Those that look to biblical prophecy are potentially erratic.

The Reform/CPC party has done a tremendous job recruiting from the SoCon communities. Harper has done a much better job than Manning in getting these same people to check their dogma at the door.

All in all I find the balance to be OK. We get the morality without the theology. I would not trust a leader that was ruled by their preacher.

As a caution, I would suggest those that distrust others just because of the church / mosque / temple they attend is probably the least trustworthy of all.

Tomm said...

Hi Gene,

Thanks for asking. Not too bad. Getting some outdoor chores done.

How about your neck of the woods?

Tomm said...

Gayle,

I think you are right. I don't see how Harper majority hurts the nation. Even for those that dread it something fierce would eventually begin to relax.

By the same token, it is pretty clear how they would govern and it is important that the Liberal's start to present a different vision. Being a little to the left of wherever Harper is, is not a winning formula.

Gayle said...

"I don't see how Harper majority hurts the nation."

I didn't say that.

I am far more worried about Harper's desire for decentralization than I am about his socon tendencies. I think since he has totally screwed up the economy he will not have time to work on decentralization before he is defeated.

Gene Rayburn said...

Enjoying the weather, Tomm. Figured out how to get HDTV with rabbit ears and now enjoying my spoils.

Tomm said...

Gayle,

That's heartening. You think that if Harper gets his majority, he will only have time to gut the treasury and will not have had the chance to destroy our national soul or imbedded his own 1950's morality into the fibre of the country.

I guess that means you aren't looking forward to it. But since you are ahead of the curve on this, you may want to take wagers and at least make some pin money.

Tomm said...

Gene,

Good to hear.

I get my HD by selling off the family heirlooms so I can afford that fine Bell service.

CK said...

Why yes, Tomm, I juggle chainsaws while we're at it. and it is true that Harpercon evangelicals do believe the world is 6000 years old.

Give him a majority, and as he said years ago, we won't recognize Canada after he gets through with it.

Since you seem to be an Ann Coulter fan, I understand where your biases are from though..

CK said...

Gayle: Do you think Harper only wants one term as a majority government, because that is what would happen if he leans too far to the right.

Watch the following video: it's in French but the language is simple enough to grasp in case your French isn't strong enough. Let me know if you need it translated:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-21tbbV3FQ&feature=player_embedded

Very important to watch, as many would take for granted he wouldn't make changes so that he wouldn't have to call an election: now, are you still sure you're not afraid of a Harpercon majority?

After the second time he prorogued and stacked his buddies at the senate: I believe there is something much more sinister to that by-election slogan of 'de l'action, pas d'election': so yes, I do believe and fear his socon ways will take over.

Remember he said that we wouldn't recognize Canada anymore and Con MP Gerry Ritz did say that once they got their majority that all bets would be off.

Look at every evil deed Steve has accomplished with only a minority. Imagine him with a majority? It won't matter who's the official opposition then as their only role would be to take up space dutifully. They would be rendered useless.

I can't believe some of you (unless of course, you're of the Conservative persuasion) would even entertain the idea of embracing a Harpercon majority.

I agree with Omar, it does all start and finish with us at the end.